The French Riviera in southern France, on the border of Italy, is beautiful and lively in any season. It is also easily reachable by bus or air.
From Mentone to Tolone, the Côte d’Azur is rich in secret corners just waiting to be discovered. It offers excellent beaches, many that are free and at the same time extremely clean. There are characteristic islands and small bays everywhere. There are always plenty of internationally renowned cultural events, town festivals and VIP parties going on. The coastal locations are connected by panoramic roads. You’ve probably seen many of them already in celebrated films and ads.
Beginning on the eastern part of the coastline, you will find various areas that deserve a visit. The first is Mentone, the city of lemons. Here they celebrate the famous Lemon Festival with carnival parades. You can also visit the lovely historical city center which is home to the Saint Michel church that dominates the bay area. There are also many botanical gardens, the most important being Val Rameh and Serre de la Madonne.
Another famous capital in the area is the principality of Monaco, internationally known as being the center of luxurious living. Monte Carlo is home to many prestigious attractions, including the Oceanography Museum and the Principe Palace. It also hosts many important events: the Formula 1 Gran Premio, the Rolex Tennis Cup, and the worldwide Rally championship.
Leaving Monaco, you can continue onto some of the most exclusive and famous areas of the Mediterranean: Beaulieu, the Cap Ferrat peninsula, the Villefranche inlet, and Nice, the largest city and the most touristed area in the region. By visiting Nice, you can see the grandeur of tourism as it was at the end of the 1800’s, when the majestic Promenade des Anglais was built. You can also enjoy the strong historic Sabaudian influence on the Massena and Garibaldi squares, as well as the futuristic urban design of modern times that added gardens and pedestrian zones in the heart of the city. Learn about the history of Nice by extending your visit to see the old city built in typical Ligurian style with narrow lanes and a profusion of small shops. At the archeological digs at Cimiez, you will see Roman ruins; there are important collections of modern art in the Matisse and Chagall museums.
Continuing on this group itinerary, we will pass Antibes, with its fortress at the port, and Juan-les-Pins, in order to arrive at Cannes. This town is not only famous for it’s Film Festival, but also for its luxury. It is always packed with international famous people and shopaholics that stay in the most prestigious hotels and shop in the chicest boutiques. Cannes also has a lovely historical city center. A trip to the nearby Lerins Islands would make a great stop for a group tour, and the boats for this destination leave from Cannes.
The inland area between Nice and Cannes is particularly interesting, with some medieval villages that have become home to artists, galleries and museums. Saint Paul de Vence and Mougins are magical and charming places to visit.
Lastly, we suggest visiting a fishing village protected by a small gulf, and surrounded by a crystalline sea that will stay in your memory forever: Saint-Tropez. This town has become an international legend in large part thanks to Brigitte Bardot. It is characterized as a small town surrounded by a pine tree forest and a coastline dotted with exclusive beaches. In Saint-Tropez you will experience the atmosphere of the true international jet-set.
The Côte d’Azur is a charming garden city facing the Mediterranean. It is impossible to adequately describe the spririt and vitality of these places that remain lively and vibrant throughout the year. You have to see it and live it to believe it. Our group travel programs on the French Riviera aim to introduce you to the most characteristic and, in places, untouched areas of this region.